Page images
[blocks in formation]

is served up in the public journals as a rare dish for the entertainment of our modern exquisites.

As might be expected from the prevalence of such views, we find a large portion of our population on the march, seeking new homes, and new occupations. This we should not complain of, (for it is incident to a growing country like ours,) if the humes thus sought and found, were not soon and repeatedly abandoned for others. It is getting to be a rare thing for an old man to die on the estate and in the house, we will not say were he was born, --for such things are not spoken of now,—but even where he first became the head of a family. The natural consequence of this frequent change of place is, that we be. come restless. For man must have his haunt, so to speak, his place of resort. A spot which long acquaintance has made dear to him—to the peculiarities of which, his mind has accommodated itself, where he feels easy, and, in one word, at home. Under such circumstances, his character is more likely to be sostened, and his affections satisfied. But he who is always seeking a new situation is generally a discon. tented, trouble-making man. The same would be true of communi. ties. And indeed, we very much fear, if this passion for change still increases, that the whole country will be filled with a homeless, wan. dering, discontented, and dangerous population.

But what has all this to do with the . Little World of Home?" We think it has much to do with it. For this state of things is hostile to the influence, the very existence of such a place as home. Let it be. come predominant, and it will leave no sphere for the operation of such a journal as this. But the subject has to do with the Microcosm in another way. It is in the Little World of Home that the evils in question are to be remedied. Parents, and they only, can forestall this mischief. With them, not unfrequently, it takes its origin; and with them must begin the redress.

Any method of treating this difficulty, will prove abortive, which does not uproot certain false notions of human rights and human dig. nity. Children must be taught that the great object of life consists not in being distinguished, but in being good. And they should be guarded against the impression, that in order to serve God most effect. ually, they should be leaders in some great enterprise, or teachers in some great establishment. They should feel that a man, living on his paternal acres, may be as useful, may possess as much true dignity and greatness of soul, and enjoy quite as much of rational happiness, as he who leaves his native village with soaring thoughts, and forces his way through a bustling world, to an independent fortune. What though he is unknown beyond his native town or county, is that any calamity? Is it not necessarily the lot of the great mass of the peo. ple? We cannot all be Presidents, nor Judges, nor Legislators, nor professional men. And what if we cannot; are we therefore depriv. ed of any rights? Is there nothing lest? Can we not still fulfill the end of our being ? What is the end of our being ? Not, surely, to be in office, or get riches, or influence; but to glorify God. This, we believe, can be done, to say the least, as well, on the spot and under the roof where our fathers worshiped him, as any where else.

That ambitious pride, misnamed enterprise, which prompts a man to murmur against the allotments of Providence, and to turn in scorn from the humble sphere in which his parents were useful, happy and respected, should be counteracted. Children should be taught that it is better to be loved than admired; that social enjoyments, and moral purity are richer possessions, than the eloquence that can enchain Sen. ates, or the splendor that dazzles a stupid mob. Let them be educated for the station they are likely to occupy, and not for one above it. Talk not to them of Presidences, or honors, or wealth, as motives to virtue. Disgrace not righteousness to such vile uses. Let them feel that goodness is its own reward, and needs no bribe.

“ How seldom friend ! a good, great man inherits
Honor or wealth with all his worth and pains !
It sounds like stories from the land of spirits,
If any man obtain that which he merits,
Or any merit that which he obtains.


For shame, dear friend! renounce this canting strain.
What wouldst thou have a good, great man obtain ?
Place ? titles ? salary? a gilded chain ?
Or throne of corses which his sword hath slain ?
Greatness and goodness are not means but ends !
Hath he not always treasures, always friends,
The good, great man? Three treasures, Love and light,
And CALM THOUGHTS regular as infant's breath :
And three firm friends, more sure than day and night,
Himself, his Maker, and the angel Death."




Where burns the lov'd hearth brightest,

Cheering the social breast ?
Where beats the fond heart lightest,

Its humble hopes possess'd ?
Where is the smile of sadness,

Of meek-eyed patience born,
Worth more than those of gladness

Which Mirth's bright cheek adorn ?
Pleasure is mark'd by fleetness

To those who ever roam ?
While grief itself has sweetness

At Home! dear Home !

There blend the ties that strengthen

Our hearts in hours of grief,
The silver links that lengthen

Joy's visits when most brief:
There eyes in all their splendor

Are vocal to the heart,

[blocks in formation]



My Dear Sir,- I received the news of your marriage with infinite delight, and hope that the sincerity with which I wish your happiness may excuse the liberty I take in giving you a few rules whereby more certainly to obtain it. I see you smile at may wrong-headed kindness, and cry out that you are happy enough without my rules. I know you are ; but after one of the forty years, which I hope you will pass pleasantly together, are over, this letter may come in turn, and rules for felicity may not be found unnecessary, however some of them may appear impracticable.

Could that kind of love be kept alive through the married state, which makes the charm of a single one, the sovereign good would no longer be sought for ; in the union of two faithful lovers it would be found: but experience informs us that it never was so.

When a more cool and tranquil affection takes place, be not hasty to censure yourself as indifferent, or to lament yourself as unhappy ;

you have lost that only which it was impossible to retain, and it were graceless amid the pleasures of a prosperous summer to regret the blossoms of a transient spring. You have made your choice, and ought to approve it.

To be happy, we must always have something in view. The per. son of your lady will not grow more pleasing in your eyes I doubt, though the rest of your sex will think her handsomer for these dozen years. Turn therefore all your attention to her mind, which will daily grow brighter by polishing. Study some science together, and ac. quire a similarity of tastes while you enjoy a community of pleasures. You will, by this means, have many images in common, and be freed from the necessity of separating to find amusement. Nothing is so dangerous to wedded love as the possibility of either being happy out of the company of the other; endeavor therefore to cement the present intimacy on every side ; let your wife never be kept ignorant of your income, your expenses, your friendships, or aversions ; let her know your very faults, but make them amiable by your virtues ; consider all concealment as a breach of fidelity ; let her never have any thing to find out in your character; and remember, that from the moment one of the partners turns spy upon the other, they have commenced a state of hostility.

Seek not for happiness in singularity; and dread a refinement of wisdom as a deviation into folly. Listen not to those sages who advise you always to scorn the counsel of a woman, and if you comply with her requests pronounce you to be wife-ridden. Think not any privation, except of positive evil, an excellence, and do not congratu. late yourself that your wife is not a learned lady, or is wholly igno. rant how to make a pudding. Cookery, and learning, are good in their places, and may be used with advantage.

With regard to expense, I can only observe, that the money laid out in the purchase of distinction is seldom or ever profitably employ. ed. We live in an age when splendid furniture and glittering equi. page are grown too common to catch the notice of the meanest specta. tor, and for the greater ones they only regard our wasteful folly with silent contempt, or open indignation. This may perhaps be a displeas. ing reflection, but the following consideration ought to make amends. The age we live in, pays, I think, peculiar attention to the higher dis. tinctions of wit, knowledge, and virtue, to which we may more safely, more cheaply, and more honorably, aspire.

It behoves a married man not to let his politeness fail, but to retain, at least, that civility towards bis own lady which he is so willing to pay to every other, and not show a wife of eighteen or twenty years old, that every man in company can treat her with more complaisance than he who so osien vowed to her eternal fondness.

Public amusements are not indeed so expensive as is sometimes im. agined, but they tend to alienate the minds of married people from each other. A well.chosen society of friends and acquaintance, more eminent for virtue and good sense than for gaiety and splendor, where the conversation of the day may afford comment for the evening, se. cures the most rational pleasure.

[blocks in formation]

That your own superiority should always be seen, but never felt, seems an excellent general rule. A wife should outshine her husband in nothing, not even in her dress. If she happens to have a taste for the trifling distinctions that dress can confer, suffer her not for a mo. ment to fancy, when she appears in public, that Sir Edward or the Colonel are finer gentlemen than her husband. The bane of married happiness among city men in general has been, that finding themselves unfit for polite life, they transferred their vanity to their ladies, dressed them up gaily, and sent thein out a galanting, while the good man was to regale with port wine or punch, after the counting house was shut.

Now that I am so near the subject, a word or two on jealousy may not be amiss ; for though not a failing of the present age's growth, yet the seeds of it are too certainly sown in every warm bosom for us to neglect it as a fault of no consequence. If you are ever tempted to be jealous, tell your wife your jealousy, but conceal your suspicion ; let her, in short, be satisfied that it is only your odd temper, and even troublesome attachment, that makes you jealous; but let her not dream that you ever doubted seriously of her virtue, even for a moment. If she is disposed towards jealousy of you, let me beseech you to be always explicit with her, and never mysterious. Be above de. lighting in her pain of all things,-nor do your business, nor pay your visits, with an air of concealment, when all you are doing might as well be proclaimed perhaps in the parish vestry. But I will hope better than this of your tenderness and of your virtue, and will release you from a lecture you have so little need of, unless your youth and my uncommon regard will excuse it. And now farewell ; make my kindest compliments to your wife, and be happy in proportion as hap. piness is wished you by, dear sir, &c.


WHEN we contemplate what great things depend on what seems, to a superficial observer, of small moment, we wish to speak a word of caution. Our subject is that of the common, every day conversation of mothers to their children.

When giving to your children commands, be careful that you speak with a becoming dignity, as if, not only the right, but the wisdom also to command was with you. Be careful not to discover a jealousy that your injunctions may not be attended to, for if the child sees that you have your doubts, they will lead the child to doubt too. Be cautious never to give your commands in a loud voice, nor in haste. If you must speak loudly in order to be obeyed, when it is not convenient to raise your voice you must expect to be disobeyed ; and if it be con. venient for you to speak loudly, you must remember that it is incon. venient for others to hear it.

But with regard to manner, be careful to speak in a soft, tender, kind and loving way. Even when you have occasion to rebuke, be careful

« PreviousContinue »